MP secures meeting with minister to tackle excessive second home ownership in the South Lakes
On the floor of the House of Commons this afternoon, local MP Tim Farron secured a meeting with the housing minister to discuss problems connected with excessive second home ownership in South Lakeland.
According to South Lakeland District Council, there are currently 3819 properties in the council tax list classed as second homes.
Speaking during housing questions, Tim said: "Will the minister meet with me to discuss funding new affordable homes in rural communities like mine in Cumbria by allowing councils to increase council tax on second homes.
"Excessive second home ownership robs our communities of a permanent population.
"A second homes tax could help fund affordable homes for local families and keep our communities alive."
In response, the housing minister Kit Malthouse said he would be "happy" to meet Tim to discuss this and said he "recognised that in some parts of the country, second homes can be an issue".
Speaking afterwards, Tim said: "I'm glad that the minister has agreed to meet with me to discuss how we can tackle this.
"This has been an ongoing problem in the South Lakes for some time now, with many communities turning into ghost towns.
"Allowing councils to significantly increase council tax on second homes would provide councils in areas with high second home ownership with a fair and effective way of raising funds which could be ring-fenced to fund key local services and deliver affordable homes for local families."